Monday, September 10, 2007

The Name Game

What I wish is that all children in our country would be named with a hyphenated name, from both of their parents. Then when they marry, the women keep their maternal name, and the men keep their paternal name, and then, they, too, hyphenate with a new combination. It is both equal and clear.

In this world I would have been Alegra Marcel Shrock-Bartzat. When I marry I would become Alegra Marcel Shrock-Loewenstien. Marshall would become Marshall Alan Loewenstein-Bartzat. Girl children would be Shrock-Loewenstein, and when the girls marry they would be Shrock-husdandslastname. The boys would be Loewenstein-Shrock, and when the boys marry they would be Loewenstein-Wifeslastname.

The arrangemnet could be different, but I like my way because it maintains both maternal and paternal lines very clearly and equally; even if arrangement changed it would have to be standardized to prevent confusion. Yes you could argue that the reversal is confusing (shrock-loewenstein AND loewenstein-shrock !?!?!), but if you were used to it, it simply would not be an issue.

FYI, in Costa Rica they all kids have hyphenated name, one name from each parent. The only thing is that only the paternal names are passed on, which is, of course, still problematic.